My Commitment to Quaker Faith and Values

In 250 words or less, give a brief statment of your commitment to the Quaker faith and values as you understand them.

"I have been a member of San Francisco Monthly Meeting in Pacific Yearly Meeting since 1996.

My covenant with God within the Religious Society of Friends is to wait upon the Lord and to follow the instructions of the Holy Spirit. In my understanding of Quaker faith and values, curiosity is welcome, rigorous self-examination is important, mutual support and accountability are necessary, and Holy Obedience is the goal.

I first read about Quakerism in a little book by Rufus Jones right after graduating from college in 1991.The elements of Quakerism that first attracted me were the expectation that God will speak to us if we listen, simplicity of life; equality of all, including women in worship; and non-violent action. In the last few years, I have been increasingly drawn to traditional Friends testimonies regarding plain dress and alcohol and to newer testimonies regarding care for all creation.

My husband and I met at 15th Street Meeting in New York and were married there in 1994. Part of my commitment is to raise our children in a Quaker family and to share my faith with other children in our wider Quaker world."

Compare, contrast, discuss amongst yourselves.

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Blogger Mark Wutka said...

Amen, Robin!

2/13/2007 8:14 PM  
Blogger Liz in the Mist said...

I will try to spread the word some there--I am assuming Betsy/others will be as well! :) I'm very saddened that I won't be able to attend, as it occurs during my last 2 weeks of grad school (aka pull my hair out time)

2/14/2007 7:06 AM  
Blogger QuakerDave said...

This is a really good idea, to get Friends to sit down and really think about how to express this concisely and specifically. All of us should try this. I know I will.

2/14/2007 12:42 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Thanks, Liz. Good luck with your end of term.

Great, Dave. Will you come back and leave another comment with a link when you've done it?

2/15/2007 3:08 PM  
Blogger Rich in Brooklyn said...

Hi Robin,

Well, I made my statement also. I'm already feeling it might not be specific enough or personal enough to be useful to others, but it was useful to me to see just how few words it took (and even some of those were more to head off potential misunderstandings than to say what I wanted to say).

Peace and Friendship,
Rich Accetta-Evans

2/15/2007 3:33 PM  
Blogger Mark Wutka said...

I tried this last night and wasn't too happy with the result. I now have a revised version on my blog.

This was a really good idea, Robin, thanks so much for sharing it with us!

With love,

2/15/2007 5:38 PM  
Blogger anj said...

Robin - I am thinking about this. I'll let you know if it gels. As such a new member, I was thinking it would be fun to redo this every few years and see what changes and what stays the same.

2/15/2007 8:16 PM  
Blogger RichardM said...


I just wanted to add that I'm supportive of your encouraging people to do this but it's hard for me to be that brief. 250 words is too concise for me at this point. I'd find myself wanting to write an essay explaining each sentence. Maybe after I work out my views fully I could then condense it down to 250 words. But right now I can't.

2/16/2007 12:16 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Rich and Mark, great! Thanks for letting me know. This is turning out interesting.

Anj, good luck! And as you apply for different things in your education, it may be helpful to have a concise version.

Richard M., that's what I thought too. But the external guidelines were helpful - 250 words means more than a quip but less than a complete explanation. I've come to appreciate the discipline of this project.

2/16/2007 1:26 PM  
Blogger RichardM said...


OK, you're right. I'm just making excuses not to do something challenging. Heck, I've got work I should be doing right now--a pile of logic quizzes to grade--but I feel the pang of recognition that goes with being rightly eldered.

2/19/2007 4:01 PM  
Blogger RichardM said...

OK, here it is:

I am committed to the idea that Christ has come to lead his people. Immediate divine guidance is available to all who seek it without recourse to human authority or even the authority of scripture. The Religious Society of the Friends of God exists as a community of people dedicated to seeking this divine guidance, helping each other to discern it accurately and living it faithfully.

While the most common and important messages that individual’s receive from the Divine Guide concern the mundane challenges of ordinary life, there are also general guidelines which God has given humanity as a whole. These general truths, which I think of as rules of thumb, are known as the Quaker testimonies. I am committed to living my life in the light of these general advices as well as being watchful for more specific leadings. Frequently reviewing my attitudes and emotions in the light of these testimonies is essential to walking the walk. Peace: do I get angry at people who cross me, do I hold on to that anger or do I drop it promptly? Truth: do I admit my faults or do I make stupid excuses? Equality: do I try to force people to see things my way or do I respect their freedom? Simplicity: am I satisfied with what is enough or do I allow myself to want more than I need?

Finally I am committed to helping others as I am able and to being open to receiving the help of others as needed.

2/19/2007 4:27 PM  
Blogger Robin M. said...

Oh gosh, I didn't mean to keep you from doing your real work. But I like your statement!

2/20/2007 1:24 PM  

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